There comes a point in a person’s life when he or she will experience back pain. Back pain, also known as dorsalgia, usually originates from the bones, joints, muscles, nerves or other structures in the spine. The pain may be acute (sudden onset) or chronic; it can be intermittent or it can be constant. The pain may be sharp and have a piercing or burning sensation, or it can be a dull ache. One way of dealing with back pain is by doing back pain exercises.
Back pain is a frequent complaint of people of all ages. In the United States, back pain is the fifth most common reason why people go to the doctor. Back pain can be classified by:
> Anatomy – neck, upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), and tailbone (sacral spine)
> Duration – acute (< 4 weeks), subacute (4-12 weeks), and chronic (> 12 weeks)
> Cause – cancer, infectious, or musculokeletal
Back pain can be associated with an underlying medical condition but in most cases, back pain is not serious. Usually back pain syndromes are caused by inflammation which can last for two to three weeks and can be manageable by the best back exercises for pain. Back pain exercises usually help relieve the pain but these must be done under the supervision of a licensed health professional.
Some back pain exercises are not only beneficial for your back; they are also beneficial for other parts of your body. Through exercise, you are preventing and treating chronic and recurring back pain at the same time. These back pain exercises usually involve strengthening the muscles that support the spine and stretching the shortened muscles that pull the spine out of alignment.
The best ab workouts usually help strengthen the core muscles; the weaker a person’s core muscles are, the higher the chance of having lower back pain. The muscles of the abdomen, the back, the buttocks, and the hips are what they call the core muscles, and they work together to support the spine and works as the spine’s main defense against gravity. These muscles aid in maintaining a proper posture and help stabilize it during movement. By having a consistent ab workout routine and constantly working and improving core stability, a person can reduce the risk of injury to the back muscles, spinal joints, discs, and ligaments. Some back pain exercises and core strengthening workouts include:
The Bridge – helps strengthen the core muscle group; lie down on the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with the feet flat on the floor. Tighten the abs and raise your buttocks off the floor. Tighten your buttocks while making sure that the shoulders and knees are in a straight line. Hold for five seconds then slowly lower yourself on the floor. Repeat for ten to fifteen times. To increase the difficulty, you can try the one-legged bridge.
The Plank – helps strengthen the core muscle group and the limbs (arms and legs) as well; lie on your stomach and place your forearms and elbows on the floor. Push yourself up in a push-up position and balance yourself on your toes and elbows, making sure the back and legs are straight. Tighten your abs then hold the position for 5-10 seconds; repeat ten times. For those who are finding it difficult to balance on their toes, they can use their knees instead. A variation of this exercise is the side plank which strengthens the obliques (side abdominal muscles).
Chest workouts can help strengthen the upper back muscles and prevent slouching. Slouching can cause neck and shoulder pain and can ruin one’s posture. By working out the muscles of the upper back, a person can have an upright posture and reduce the pain at the neck, shoulders, and upper back because the shoulder blades are kept down and back.
Chest stretch with clasped hands – one of the back pain exercises that is easy to do, the chest stretch with clasped hands routine exercises the pectorals and front of the shoulders. Stand with knees slightly bent and place your hands behind the back, palms up and fingers interlaced. Extend your arms backward and raise them as high as you can without arching your back. Hold for half a minute.
Wall chest stretch – one of the back pain exercises you can do with the help of a wall, this exercise can help prevent slouching and improve upper back posture. Stand with your right side facing the wall and place your left foot forward and the right foot at the back. Put your right palm and forearm against the wall with the fingers pointing towards the ceiling and the upper arm parallel to the floor. Bend your left knee slowly and move your body forward until you feel the stretch in the chest area under the arm. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
Keep in mind that back pain exercises are usually done to treat chronic back pain, and not acute back pain. Also, consult with your doctor first before doing any exercise to treat your back pain.